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Make a trip to the ATM, and depending on your balance you too might be able to outfit yourself like the hero of the anime and collectible card game.

With Yu-Gi-Oh! back on theater screens and in the pages of comic anthology Weekly Shonen Jump, plenty of fans are feeling nostalgic not just for the anime and manga branches of the franchise, but for its collectible card game as well. And if you’re taking a stroll to the card game block of the Yu-Gi-Oh! memory lane, you might find yourself wishing for the cool collection of monsters and traps that makes up the deck of series protagonist Yugi Muto.

Thankfully, you don’t have to rewatch the hundreds of Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes with a notepad in hand and jot down notes each and every time Yugi pulls out a card. On the card game’s website, you can find the official version of Yugi’s deck, letting you know exactly what you’ll need to assemble in order to follow in his footsteps.

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Rather than go out and buy pack after pack of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, Japanese website Anime Anime decided to take a more direct approach and see how much it would cost to buy the 50 cards needed to complete Yugi’s deck. Seeking instant gratification, they decided to forego online options and instead headed to Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood, a burgeoning pocket of otaku culture, and scour the district’s used card shops to purchase the necessary components.

After just three hours of searching, they came remarkably close to meeting their goal (a feat facilitated by how many used card shops allow you to browse their inventories on in-store tablets). While Yugi’s Graceful Charity card ultimately proved elusive, the remaining 49 cards were all found, with their total cost coming to roughly 24,000 yen (US$224). That might seem like a large chunk of change, but it averages out to only about 500 yen a card for all this:

● Silfer the Sky Dragon
● Dark Magician of Chaos
● Dark Magician (3)

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● Buster Blader (2)
● Dark Magician Girl
● Gemini Elf
● Skilled Dark Magician (2)
● Electromagnetic Turtle
● Obnoxious Celtic Guard
● Old Vindictive Magician
● Kuriboh
● Magician of Faith
● Pot of Greed

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● Change of Heart
● Thousand Knives
● Monster Reborn
● Brain Control
● The Eye of Timaeus (2)
● Magical Dimension
● Card Destruction
● Premature Burial
● Swords of Revealing Light
● Dark Magic Attack

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● Polymerization (2)
● Fusion Sage
● Dark Renewal (2)
● Mirror Force
● Black Illusion
● Magical Hats
● Magic Cylinder
● Eternal Soul (3)
● Amulet Dragon (3)
● Dark Paladin (3)
● Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight (3)

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Older cards which had seen fewer reissues, like Kuriboh, Gemini Elf, and Obnoxious Celtic Guard, were tougher than others to track down. Relatively rare cards that required multiple copies had a big effect on the final tab, such as The Eye of Timaeus (two cards at 2,200 yen each) and Eternal Soul (three cards at 1,800 yen each).

Even with such pricey pieces, though, 24,000 yen doesn’t seem like an outrageous expenditure for true fans. If anything, the moderate figure is a testament to the effectiveness of Yugi’s deck from a storytelling perspective. It features cards that are useful in a player’s hand, but not so powerful that they have to be kept scarce for the sake of gameplay balance. The result is a deck that’s both cool and relatable for fans, helping to cross-pollinate popularity between the game and anime.

Still, it must be kind of frustrating to be just one card off from completing Yugi’s deck. But as any collector will tell you, a completely perfect collection is a very hard thing to come by.

Source: Anime Anima via Jin
Images: Yu-Gi-Oh! card game offiicial website (edited by RocketNews24)